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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:43 AM   #1
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Do you/ Will you attend rehersals?

If so...is it a standard practice? Do you do it if time/location permits? Do you do it only if requested? Do you charge extra?

I have so many questions lately!
Thanks!
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Old July 24th, 2008, 08:08 AM   #2
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I currently attend all rehearsals to ensure that I am comfortable with everything. I like to know where I'm going, parking, what room, who the client actually is, ask any last minute questions, and watch the flow of the ceremony. The rehearsal usually only last an hour and we do not attend the dinner. It also provides a feeling of security to the B&G actually seeing a vendor the day before everything gets crazy. And its a must if it is a destination wedding just to ensure that you have arrived and will be where you are supposed to be the following day. They have too much worry about already.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #3
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We include it with most of our packages. It makes things easier for me the next day so I'm not guessing about anything. We only occasionally attend the dinner if they ask and we charge for it...
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Old July 24th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #4
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If it is a new venue then yes, I feel as much as getting to know the venue it is about building a good relation with the Vicar/Priest etc.

They alway seem to complain about previous photographers (rarely videographers) in that they did not stick to the instructions given.

I just nod and agree and then usually get a bit more flexibility from them than if I just turn up on the day.

Of course, if you have filmed there before they usually remember you (of course as well behaved videographers...) so I do not attend a second time.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #5
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For years I provided this with my packages, as a selling point. But I no longer do that. Instead, I determine on my own now if I want to attend a rehearsal. Here are some reasons why:

- I got tired of showing up 10 minutes early for a 6pm rehearsal, only to have half of the wedding party show up an hour late and not have rehearsal start until 7pm.

- I also got tired of having rehearsals drag out to an 1.5-2 hours on occasion. I had a rehearsal once that was supposed to start at 5pm. I showed up at 4:45pm. We ended up waiting on ONE PERSON to show up until 6:45pm before they started the rehearsal. Then, due to lack of organization, the rehearsal drug out to 2 hours. So for what should have been an hour of my time, I was there for FOUR HOURS. Not cool.

- I especially got tired of having ceremonies that didn't run as we had practiced in the rehearsal the night before. Sometimes these were just mistakes, but sometimes these were changes made AFTER the rehearsal that I wasn't informed of. (I had a wedding on a beach where I planned at rehearsal to go handheld at the front, and then the next day, instead of getting married on the beach, the couple walked past the wedding party and out onto a dock and got married 50 feet away ... no one told me of the change in plans).

- And partly, because once you've filmed a wedding at a location a dozen times you pretty much know how you're going to film them in the future.

- I've also had to attend quite a few rehearsals that were not actually at the wedding location (because of the extra rental cost to the B&G, they often just do it at a park or their house or wherever). It's quite a bit less helpful to attend a rehearsal at a park when the ceremony will be in a church.

- Also, having to attend a rehearsal the day before has prevents me from filming a wedding the day before. I normally limit myself to 1 wedding per weekend, but there have been a number of times I was willing to do 2 but I couldn't because I had to attend an hour-long rehearsal. It can be hard to stomach missing out on several thousand dollars simply because you had to attend a 60-minute rehearsal (especially when you factor in everything I've listed above).

- Finally, I've had people schedule their rehearsals for some pretty odd times that have made my schedule that week much more difficult.


So it is no longer included in my packages for those reasons. Now the choice is mine. I still generally attend the rehearsal, but not always. I talk to the couple in advance about their ceremony, and if there is nothing out of the ordinary, then I'm not too worried. Also, if they are getting married somewhere I've shot before, or if the rehearsal is somewhere other than where the ceremony will be, now I have the option to skip it and get some work done at the office.

Just my policy based on my experience.

EDIT: I do provide rehearsal "coverage" as a paid extra.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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Wouldn't miss rehearsal for the world...

I always attend rehearsals, whether or not they're at the "real" location, whether or not I've shot there before, etc etc. I show it as an element of all packages, and mark it as mandatory. I have no interest in the dinner, just the ceremony itself. It's factored in to my prices.

Why do I always attend? Because I want as few surprises and problems to solve on the day as possible. There are way too many variables for a control freak like me to live with.
I'm due at a rehearsal this evening in the same church I shot at two weeks ago. I need to know that (for example) the pastor will position everyone the same, that there will be no "special appearance" like a solo singer, that there will be no "extras", such as a candle-lighting ceremony for a recently deceased parent/sibling/grand-parent, that there has been no noisy, portable A/C installed for the hot weather in the last two weeks, that the B&G don't have plans for using the camera locations I used last time, etc etc.

Shot my son's best friend's wedding as a wedding gift a few weeks ago - it was eight hours drive away, so couldn't get to the rehearsal. Scramble scramble, panic panic, worry worry.
That's why I always attend rehearsals.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #7
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I usually go to the rehersals if the schedule permits. For me it's more about checking out the church and to see if they are using a wireless and find out their frequencies to make sure you have no issues.
Also, I never got there until 20-30 minutes after the start time. you has the people running late and then introductions and bla, bla, bla.

plus sometimes you find out something like I did a few years ago when I learned at the rehersal that the maid of honor ( and professional dancer) was going to an 'interpative dance' before the bridge came down.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #8
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We don't have any rehearsal here in Belgium but I'm a master in improvising and really enjoy the stress of not knowing what comes next. :)
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelsey Emuss View Post
If so...is it a standard practice? Do you do it if time/location permits? Do you do it only if requested? Do you charge extra?

I have so many questions lately!
Thanks!
I always attend, but part of my reason is to "police the placements" and make sure people know that videography has requirements as well (not pitch black, bridal party not lined up to eliminate the bride's cam getting a shot) etc.

I also use it as a chance to feel out the mood of the couple and the kind of edit I'll be doing for them. I usually show up with my equipment (if possible) so I can set up, try some angles, etc.

I also have used that time to shoot some B roll of the location with out time restrictions or pressure. In case, much of the B-roll from my wedding trailer was shot after the rehearsal.

Since I operate (for now) in the low end market, I tend to have clients with no coordinator and it is helpful to my clients for me (as the only vendor to show up to the rehearsal besides the officiant) to help with any organization / common problems to avoid etc.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #10
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used to. not so much anymore. There are few places around my area I haven't shot in and after the first 3 or 4 or 5 hundred weddings I figured most of the officiants knew me and I knew them so I have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen and where everyone will be. While things do change from one minute to the next and from venue to venue and officiant to officiant the majority of ceremonies run pretty much the way I have grown to expect them to.
Plus I talk to the B&G, the co-ordinator and or officiant before the wedding to make sure.

Now having said that I will attend the rehearsal IF it's close, IF the bridal party are really cool kids or IF I know them personally. I also might go if I'm bored and want to get out for a while on a Friday night ;-)

Don
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #11
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Thanks guys!

It's great to have everyone's input!
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Old July 24th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #12
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Years ago I used to go to all of them. I'd even set up a single chipper cam on a tripod way in the back and record the whole thing just to review later that night. This helped me immensly with learning all the various movement cues each denomination seems to have. I'd recommend this to anybody starting out.

These days I don't attend any rehearsals and a lot of times I don't even meet the couple until the wedding day.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #13
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No

NO

UNLESS.......its in the budget.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #14
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For me, attending the rehearsal is a great opportunity to check out angles and camera placement but also it's a chance to spend more time with the bride & groom, meet their parents/families and establish more of a connection with everyone involved.

It's great when you get the feeling that you're just another member of the family. This is achievable because we do a limited number of weddings each year.

If you're just starting out, I'd suggest attending as many rehearsals as you can.
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